Fiction Affliction: Genre-Benders for October

Not all who wander are lost, said the great sage Tolkien. Seventeen books wander with purpose between genres this month, from time traveling to airship tales.

Look for series additions from, among others, Carolyn Hart (Bailey Ruth Ghost), Weston Ochse (Seal Team 666), Sheri S. Tepper (Plague of Angels), Liesel Schwarz (The Chronicles of Light and Shadow), and April Taylor (The Tudor Enigma), plus anthologies edited by Paula Guran (time travel), David Thomas Moore (Holmesian tales), and Ellen Datlow (Silver Screen).

Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here. Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.

WEEK ONE

Time Travel: Recent Trips—edited by Paula Guran (October 1, Prime Books)

The idea of time travel has been with us since ancient times; now, the concept of time travel seems… almost… plausible. Today, tales of chrononauts are more imaginative and thought provoking than ever before: new views, cutting-edge concepts, radical notions of paradox and possibility-state-of-the-art speculative stories collected from those written in the twenty-first century. Forward to the past, back to the future-get ready for a fascinating trip. Contributing authors include: Kage Baker, Elizabeth Bear, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ken Liu, Sarah Monette, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Howard Waldrop, James P. Blaylock and more.

Falling SkyRajan Khanna (October 7, Pyr)

Ben Gold lives in dangerous times. Two generations ago, a virulent disease turned the population of most of North America into little more than beasts called Ferals. Some of those who survived took to the air, scratching out a living on airships and dirigibles. Ben has his own airship, a family heirloom, and has signed up to help a group of scientists looking for a cure. That’s not as easy as it sounds with a power-hungry air city looking to raid any nearby settlements. His airship is stolen. Ben must try to survive on the ground while trying to get his ship back. This brings him to Gastown, a city in the air recently conquered by expansionist pirates. Ben must decide what really matters, whether to risk it all on a desperate chance for a better future or to truly remain on his own.

Ghost Wanted (A Bailey Ruth Ghost Novel #2)—Carolyn Hart (October 7, Berkley)

Bailey Ruth’s supervisor, Wiggins, is worried about a dear old friend. The ghost of Lorraine Marlow haunts Adelaide’s college library. Known as the Lady of the Roses, she plays matchmaker. But someone’s making mischief after hours. Concerned with Lorraine’s reputation among the living, Wiggins dispatches Bailey Ruth to investigate. A campus security guard is shot by an intruder, and Bailey Ruth uncovers a catalog of evidence blaming a student for the crimes. As a ghost, she may not be all there, but even Bailey Ruth can decipher that something isn’t adding up. With police preparing to make an arrest, the spirited detective must race against the clock to find the real culprit, because when justice is overdue, it takes more than death to stop Bailey Ruth Raeburn.

SparkJohn Twelve Hawks (October 7, Doubleday)

Jacob Underwood is a contract employee of the Special Services Section, a shadow department in the multinational corporation DBG. Jacob is not a businessman, he is a hired assassin, and his job is to neutralize problems deemed unacceptable by the corporation. Suffering from Cotard’s syndrome, a real condition that causes people to believe they are dead, Jacob perceives himself as nothing but a Shell with no emotion and no sense of right or wrong. Emily Buchanan is a second-year associate for DBG, and she has disappeared. Miss Holquist, Jacob’s handler at DBG, assigns him the task of tracking her down. As his new assignment draws him inside a network of dark dealings, Jacob finds himself up against something he is completely incapable of understanding.

The Night Garden: A NovelLisa Van Allen (October 7, Ballantine)

Nestled in the town of Green Valley in upstate New York, the Pennywort farm appears ordinary, yet at its center lies something remarkable: a wild maze of colorful gardens that reaches beyond the imagination. Local legend says that a visitor can gain answers to life’s most difficult problems simply by walking through its lush corridors. Yet the labyrinth has never helped Olivia Pennywort, the garden’s caretaker. She has spent her entire life on her family’s land, harboring a secret that forces her to keep everyone at arm’s length. When her childhood best friend, Sam Van Winkle, returns to the valley, Olivia begins to question her safe, isolated world. As she and Sam reconnect, Olivia faces a difficult question: Is the garden maze that she has nurtured a safe haven or a prison?

The Secrets of Life and DeathRebecca Alexander (October 7, Broadway)

In modern day England, Professor Felix Guichard is called in to identify occult symbols found on the corpse of a young girl. His investigation brings him in contact with a mysterious woman, Jackdaw Hammond, who guards a secret: She’s Dead. Someone else knows her secret. Someone who won’t rest until they’ve taken the magic that keeps her alive. In Krakow in 1585, Dr John Dee and his assistant Edward Kelley have been summoned by the King of Poland to save the life of his niece. They soon realize that the only thing worse than the Countess’ malady, is the magic that might be able to save her. It becomes clear that the answers Jackdaw and Felix seek can only be found in the ancient diary of John Dee’s assistant, Edward Kelley. They must solve a mystery centuries in the making, or die trying. (U.S.)

Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets: An Anthology of Holmesian Tales Across Time and Space—edited by David Thomas Moore (October 7, Abaddon)

A collection of original short stories finding Holmes and Watson in times and places you would never have expected. A dozen established and up-and-coming authors invite you to view Doyle’s greatest creation through a decidedly cracked lens. Read about Holmes and Watson through time and space, as they tackle a witch-trial in seventeenth century Scotland, bandy words with Andy Warhol in 1970s New York, travel the Wild Frontier in the Old West, solve future crimes in a world of robots and even cross paths with a young Elvis Presley. Set to include stories by Kasey Lansdale, Guy Adams, Jamie Wyman, J.E. Cohen, Gini Koch, Glen Mehn, Kelly Hale, Kaaron Warren, Emma Newman and more.

 

WEEK TWO

Reign of Evil (Seal Team 666 #3)—Weston Ochse (October 14, Thomas Dunne)

Legend holds that when Britain is in its darkest hour, King Arthur will return to save the country, if not the world. That legend is dead wrong. When a Grove of Druids sacrifice the lives of a group of innocents, including the fiancée of a member of SEAL Team 666, the ancient king is brought back from the dead and sets his sight on subjugating humanity and cleansing his land of all who are not true Britons. Because of political sensitivities, Triple 6 is ordered to stand down, but that order is ignored by one of them seeking his own vengeance. Now, the members of America’s elite supernatural-hunting team must decide what is more important: their orders or their loyalty to their own team member.

The Cutting Room: Dark Reflections of the Silver Screen—edited by Ellen Datlow (October 14, Tachyon)

What happens after the closing credits and before the lights go out? When you turn off your TV, but still aren’t able to sleep? Sometimes only the written word will do. These twenty-two classic tales are a chilling homage to the silver screen. Discover that James Dean’s death was not an accident, a trip to Oz is a one-way ticket, and zombies were behind the corporate greed of the 1980s. Learn how reality is edited (and found overly long) and how the final girl, the film’s sole survivor, emerges with a captive audience. Join award-winning and bestselling authors from Neil Gaiman to Peter Straub in a journey to the darkest depths of the theater.

The Doubt FactoryPaolo Bacigalupi (October 14, Little, Brown)

Young Adult. Everything Alix knows about her life is a lie. At least that’s what a mysterious young man who’s stalkingher keeps saying. But then she begins investigating the disturbing claims he makes against her father. Could her dad really be at the helm of a firm that distorts the truth and covers up wrongdoing by hugely profitable corporations that have allowed innocent victims to die? Is it possible that her father is the bad guy, and that the undeniably alluring criminal who calls himself Moses, and his radical band of teen activists, is right? Alix has to make a choice, and time is running out, but can she truly risk everything and blow the whistle on the man who loves her and raised her?

Gretel and the DarkEliza Granville (October 16, Riverhead)

Two rich, intertwining narratives that come together to form one read. In 1899 Vienna, celebrated psychoanalyst Josef Breuer is about to encounter his strangest case yet: a mysterious, beautiful woman who claims to have no name, no feelings, to be, in fact, a machine. Intrigued, he tries to fathom the roots of her disturbance. Years later, in Nazi-controlled Germany, Krysta plays alone while her papa works in the menacingly strange infirmary next door. Young, innocent, and fiercely stubborn, she retreats into a world of fairy tales, unable to see the danger closing in around her. When everything changes and the real world becomes as frightening as any of her stories, Krysta finds that her imagination holds powers beyond what she could ever have guessed. (U.S. Release)

 

WEEK THREE

Fish Tails: A Novel (Plague of Angels #3)—Sheri S. Tepper (October 21, Harper Voyager)

Abasio and Xulai and their children travel from village to village scattered across the sparsely populated land of Tingawa. They are searching for others who might be interested in adopting their sea-dwelling lifestyle. Along their journey they encounter strange visitors from the far-off world of Lom, characters from Tepper’s nine-book “True Game” series of novels—Mavin Manyshaped, Jinian Star-eye, and Silkhands the Healer-all of whom have been gathered up by an interfering, time-traveling, rule-breaking do-gooder to do one last good deed on earth before its metamorphosis is complete. For the waters are rising and will soon engulf the entire planet, transforming it utterly and irrevocably.

Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global ApocalypseJames Wesley Rawles (October 21, Dutton Adult)

When looting and rioting overwhelm all the major U.S. cities, Afghanistan war vet Ray McGregor makes his way from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to his parents’ cattle ranch in Bella Coola, British Columbia. Joining him is his old friend Phil Adams, a Defense Intelligence Agency counterintelligence case officer based in Washington State. Reckless banking practices, hyperinflation, and government negligence have led to an unprecedented socioeconomic collapse in America that quickly spreads throughout the world. Bella Coola is spared the worst of the chaos, but when order is restored it comes in the form of a tyrannical army of occupation. Ray and Phil soon become key players in the resistance movement, fighting the occupiers in a war that will determine not only their own personal survival, but also the future of North America.

Loop (Loop #1)—Karen Akins (October 21, St. Martin’s Griffin)

Young Adult. At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels at screwing up. After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage, she stands to lose her scholarship. When Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. Finn, now three years older, is convinced he’s in love with Bree. She inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her. Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. She alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. When those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.

Time’s Edge (The Chronos Files #2)—Rysa Walker (October 21, Skyscape)

Young Adult. To stop her sadistic grandfather, Saul, and his band of time travelers from rewriting history, Kate must race to retrieve the CHRONOS keys before they fall into the Cyrists’ hands. If she jumps back in time and pulls the wrong key, her whole plan could come crashing down. Kate’s only ally is Kiernan, who also carries the time-traveling gene. But their growing bond threatens everything Kate is trying to rebuild with Trey, her boyfriend who can’t remember the relationship she can’t forget. As evidence of Saul’s twisted mind builds, Kate’s missions become more complex, blurring the line between good and evil. Which of the people Saul plans to sacrifice in the past can she and Kiernan save without risking their ultimate goal, or their own lives?

 

WEEK FOUR

Taste of Treason (The Tudor Enigma #2)—April Taylor (October 27, Carina)

Luke Ballard, Dominus Elemancer and Privy Inquirer into Divers Mischiefs and Grievances, has grown his magical powers since his last encounter with the Sunderers, dark sorcerers who will stop at nothing to destroy the throne. But is he skilled enough to protect his own and prevent tragedy from reaching the royal family? The continuation of Tudor rule and the future of England’s true religion rest with King Henry IX’s new bride, Queen Madeline of Scotland. Pregnant with a possible heir, she’s nearly killed, twice, in incidents that bizarrely mimic the Plagues of Egypt. And she is not alone. All of Hampton Court, it seems, has been surrounded by a dark cloud of otherworldly danger. Fearful for his wife and unborn child, King Henry can only turn to one man. (Digital)

Sky Pirates (The Chronicles of Light and Shadow #3)—Liesel Schwarz (October 28, Del Rey)

With her husband, Hugh Marsh, missing in the netherworld and presumed dead, Elle Chance loses herself in the task at hand: piloting the airship Water Lily on commissions across the globe. But as it turns out, her beloved is very much alive, the once-powerful warlock reduced to a wraith. When Water Lily is threatened by pirates, Elle will have to channel all her power as the Oracle, the keeper of the barrier between the two Realms, to try to save what she loves most. As the dark forces of Shadow converge around her, Elle must find a way to breach the curse that binds Marsh. But once released, will Marsh return to her, or is their love destined to die so that he can live? (U.S.)

 


Suzanne Johnson is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. You can find Suzanne on Twitter and on her daily blog, Preternatura.

 

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